Shoveling Horse S%@T as a Meditation Practice!

Have you ever felt burdened with particular ongoing chores and wished that you didn’t need to do them? Perhaps it’s that steady stream of dirty clothing that need to be washed, or the cleaning of windows in your home, or maybe the yearly dread of preparing your taxes?

I’ve recently become the proud owner (or guardian) of a beautiful, pinto horse and along with the multitude of responsibilities comes the daily need to shovel his enormous quantity of manure. Through spring, winter, summer and fall, this chore always needs to be fulfilled and one can either resist the ritual or embrace it. I’ve chosen the latter, and even on those coldest of winter days with a foot of snow and temperatures as low as +4 degrees, I’ll be out there learning the art of shoveling, prying, scooping and racking these "poopsicles" into my wheelbarrow.

It didn’t take long to recognize that it would truly benefit my health and state of mind if I chose to place my attention on all of the positive attributes of this activity. It was clearly serving as a potent way of raising my cardiovascular activity; great for lowering my cholesterol levels. No doubt, my muscles were receiving a great workout as well. But most importantly, I’ve begun to notice the power of my thoughts from moment-to-moment while in this repetitive and simple motion. It’s become an opportunity to slow down (akin to the natural rhythm of horses) and practice being an objective observer, not only to my thoughts but to the choices I’m making. If my back begins to hurt from placing too much weight on it while shoveling, I learn new ways to lift this often heavy load, offering support to my back and relieving the pressure. When my fingers begin to freeze and become numb due to the extremely cold temperatures, I learn to listen and stop for a couple of minutes to warm my fingers inside the gloves.

Most of us are so programmed to plow through chores in order to get them done, when on a deeper level, we’re often being called to slow down and become mindful of what nuggets of insight might be available in the midst of our activity. When I take the time to really look around me while in the middle of this chore, I am filled with a sense of profound peace and serenity. I see these pristine animals grazing amidst the rolling hills. I smell the fresh pine scented mountain air that fills my lungs with vitality. I have moments of realizing that I truly am enjoying this activity and sensing the various ways that it supports and feeds my well-being.

How often throughout your day, with each thought and activity, do you have the opportunity to transmute your manure into gold? Life is so radiant and rich in every passing moment when our attention is placed on the potential gems or insights to gleam.

This perspective gives us a whole new meaning to the expression…....Holy S@#T !

Carl Studna is a world-renowned photographer, inspirational speaker, teacher and award winning author. Carl’s intimate portraits of influential people ranging from Paul McCartney to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, are published and known worldwide. Carl has taken his message and experiences to print in his newly released book, CLICK! Choosing Love…One Frame at a Time. Studna’s innovative work, the LuminEssence Method©, teaches a new paradigm for radiating the light that resides within revealing each person’s authentic gifts. www.CarlStudna.com.

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